Flower Friday: Christmas Cactus – December 8th

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having fun sharing some flower pics! Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already.

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I thought I’d share this beautiful picture of a Christmas cactus bloom. I actually have one of these, but it hasn’t bloomed this year yet. It’s so exciting because they bloom in the winter around Christmas–hence the name “Christmas Cactus.” Here’s what they look like when in bloom.

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Scientific name: Schlumbergera
Higher classification: Rhipsalideae
Rank:Genus

Continue reading “Flower Friday: Christmas Cactus – December 8th”

Flower Friday: Poinsettia for December 1st!

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks and have been having fun sharing some flower pics! Please check out Lorilin’s blog if you haven’t already.

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It’s December 1st! I thought I’d share a picture of beautiful poinsettia blooms for Christmas.

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It’s Christmas time!

Continue reading “Flower Friday: Poinsettia for December 1st!”

Flower Friday: October 20th – Rafflesia

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks last month and have been having a lot of fun sharing some flower pics every Friday.

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This week, my friend Nel@Reactionaryales shared a post on the rafflesia flower. I thought I’d share a picture of it for Flower Friday today as it’s a very interesting one. You can see her post on the rafflesia HERE. You’ll find out where it grows and learn some interesting facts about the flower as well.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 20th – Rafflesia”

Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia

I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!

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I missed Flower Friday last week and didn’t realize it until the weekend. I’m back this week with a special picture of a zinnia we grew together from seed. My 7-year-old daughter took this picture with her tablet. I was quite amazed by it. It reminds me that kids can do some pretty constructive things with their tablets.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia”

Flower Friday – September 29th – Sedums

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I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!


Today’s flower pic is of my sedums which went into full bloom a few weeks ago. The butterflies were all over them and I couldn’t resist taking some pictures.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday – September 29th – Sedums”

Lesson’s From Grandpa #6 – There’s Always Something…

When I was little, my grandfather would always tell us kids to be thankful for everything because this is what the Scripture tells us. I couldn’t tell you how many times he read the Bible, but often he would quote Scripture and use examples. We were constantly reminded to count our blessings.

 

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Me and Grandpa – November 22nd, 1979

 

Every now and then, my mind goes into another direction. It’s true that I’ve suffered anxiety and depression in my life and sometimes I have a hard time pulling myself out of it and I start to think about the glass being half empty, rather than half full. I always try to stop and reflect on what my grandfather always taught us.

Fall is such a wonderful time of year and usually by now, we are harvesting pumpkins from our patch to sell or gift to family and friends, canning tomatoes, and making our last minute jams for the winter cupboards. Typically, spring is full of growing and lots of hard work. Here’s a picture of our greenhouse from Spring 2016.

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Except this year is very different, I decided to downsize my gardens and we only grew a few pumpkins for ourselves. I cut back on tomatoes and didn’t grow much from seed this year.

As I was walking around outside by the gardens, I was looking at all the weeds and thought to myself how lazy I’ve been this summer. I started feeling pretty sorry, but this summer, I wanted to spend more time with my kids, read, and relax, and so I did. I didn’t keep up with everything like I normally would and we did have fewer yields because of it, but as I looked around, I saw so many beautiful things. Just look at this hibiscus flower which comes back every year.

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These flowers are huge even surrounded by weeds!

I also realized just a few weeks ago that we won’t meet our quota for the canned tomatoes required to get us through until next year. Normally, I put up about 125 quarts or more of stewed tomatoes for chili, spaghetti, and soup over the winter. With what I’ve canned so far and with what’s left to still harvest, we will probably get about 40 quarts of tomatoes.

 

 

Then, one of our friends that my husband works with decided that he and his wife didn’t want to can this year. He told my husband to come over and take whatever we wanted. We received three more five-gallon buckets of tomatoes for canning including some beautiful green peppers to mix in.

And there’s plenty more where that came from. We will meet the quota after all. Not only did they give us tons of tomatoes, but also 4+ buckets full of apples for canning. It’s truly amazing…

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I didn’t plant sunflowers this year, but there were some beautiful volunteers which will leave plenty of seeds for next year.

Our peppers were fairly small and we didn’t get as many as usual,

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But we have some great spaghetti and winter squash.

I couldn’t help but pause to look at the sky either. Fall is here…

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The sedums are in full bloom…

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There’s so much beauty if you just stop to take the time to look.

Then, this morning the most amazing thing happened! We were out in our woods looking for one of our cats that’s been missing for a few days. We noticed this huge pumpkin vine growing way out in the back of our woods where we used to have our compost pile. All of our pumpkins from previous years would get dumped here. A seed decided to grow and the vine is growing all over and up into the trees.

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Continue reading “Lesson’s From Grandpa #6 – There’s Always Something…”

Award: One Lovely Blog Award

 

I was recently nominated by Jo-Ann@InspirationPie.com for the One Lovely Blog Award. I especially enjoy reading Jo-Ann’s Daily Walk posts and all of her tags and awards! Please check out her blog if you haven’t done so already. Thanks for nominating me, Jo-Ann! You’re such a sweet person and I’m glad to know you!

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RULES:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Share 7 facts about yourself
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers and inform them of the nomination

Seven Facts about me:

1. I love to bake!

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2. I’m obsessed with growing pumpkins-

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Including giant ones!

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3. I love drinking plants.

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4. I love growing my own food.

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5. My favorite color is purple!

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6. I enjoy canning.

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7. I LOVE Halloween and decorating is a must!

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Continue for the nominees!

Continue reading “Award: One Lovely Blog Award”

Award: The Versatile Blogger Award

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I was very excited to be nominated a few days ago @ caterpillars2butterfliesblog for the Versatile Blogger Award. If you haven’t checked out her blog, please do. There are so many feel-good, inspirational posts here and I look forward to reading them daily! Great advice. Thank you for nominating me!

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RULES OF THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD:

1.) Thank the bloggers who nominated you and share their links.
2.) Nominate at least 10 bloggers for the award and provide links to their blogs.
3.) Also inform them about their nomination.
4.) Reveal 7 facts about yourself that your readers may not know.


-7 Things About Me-

1. I can play a handful of instruments including: Guitar, Piano, Clarinet, Saxophone, Violin, Lap harp and a few others.

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2. I’m very interested in people who have experienced NDE’s or Near Death Experiences. I used to spend quite a bit of time reading and studying them.

3.  We just had 13 kittens in April. Most have gone to homes. We have 5 left. Out of these 3 you see here, we have Ash left. Can you guess which one he is? Back left. His attitude fits his look. Every one of these kittens has a different personality.  I’ll post more about them later.

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4. Despite striving for a healthy lifestyle, I’ve actually struggled with food addiction since I was about 15 and continue to battle with it. I ❤ food, especially homemade baked goods like these cupcakes I made recently, or this organic Amish bread I make often. It literally melts in your mouth. Recipes to come soon.

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5. I have two border collies, Cynder & Winston. You may have read about them here on my blog. I love them very much.

 

 

6. I have an extreme joy for gardening and love growing pumpkins, including giant pumpkins for the Halloween season. Halloween is my favorite time of year. I’m super excited that fall is on the way.

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7. I can’t wait for the next season of Poldark in October! I’ve read the whole saga and loved the books. More Aiden Turner please. 🙂


Continue for the nominees!

Continue reading “Award: The Versatile Blogger Award”

What To Do With All Those Cucumbers and Zucchini!

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It’s normally this time of year in July that we have way too many cucumbers and zucchini. I love sharing with the people who live in my area, but most of them have their own gardens and they are sharing some of the same harvests with me. Every year I tell myself to cut down on the number of plants, but I’ve found multiple ways to use these two veggies up quickly. Most of the ways I use are raw, but there are a few of my favorite canning recipes I do yearly included here as well.

First, I took a trip out to the garden this morning to pick some cucumbers and a few zucchini. I had to pause to take a video because all the birds sounded so beautiful this morning. The bees were flying around and pollinating all the flowers.

It’s wonderful to be in nature and to reconnect with our natural environment. It’s too easy to become distanced from nature with our busy lives. All it takes is a trip outside to be grounded again. Even if you’re in the city, you can stop and look up at the sky and just take a deep breath and remind yourself how lucky we are to have this beautiful home we call Earth.

Cucumber Salad:

This is a simple salad that uses up a good number of cucumbers quickly. It’s not a super healthy recipe as it does contain mayonnaise, but what you’ll notice is that much of the dressing is left in the bottom of the bowl after all the cucumbers are gone and you’ll need to add more. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

5 good size cucumbers

1 cup of mayonnaise

4 tsp. Vinegar

1/4 cup sugar or 1/8 cup honey

1/2 tsp. Dried Dill weed

1/2 tsp. Seasoned salt

Make the dressing first in a large bowl. Mix up all ingredients minus the cucumbers until a nice dressing is made.

Slice the cucumbers and stir them in. It’s that simple!

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There’s always dressing left in the bottom, so cut a few more cucumbers afterwards and add them in if you need to. You can also store the dressing in the fridge for later. This is best eaten fresh when the cucumbers are crunchy. Yum!

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Now if you want, you can use a  processor to slice the cucumbers. It’s not necessary, but nice if you’re making a huge batch.

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Set the blade to the thickest slicing.

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Pile in the cucumbers by standing them straight up, and push them down through the blade as it’s turning.

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Perfectly sliced cucumbers!

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If you’re interested in buying a processor, I would recommend the Cuisinart 14 Cup Processor.  It’s a real workhorse and has worked well for me for years. I’ve even made nut butters in it. You get a shredding tool, slicing tool, and more.

Sometimes if the cucumbers are really large, you can slice them again. It really doesn’t matter.

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Continue for more recipes!

Continue reading “What To Do With All Those Cucumbers and Zucchini!”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Syrian Cooking

Today I have a very strange breakfast to share with you and some great books! For breakfast today, I’m having stuffed grape leaves. It’s not really a breakfast food, but I eat these anytime. I’m Syrian from my grandfather’s side and stuffed grape leaves are something I grew up eating. When grape leaves are in season I try to make as many as I can because they’re fresh and taste delicious. I was always told not to cut leaves after July 4th because they are tougher. I have cooked them after this point, but they’re so much better in June. I made these yesterday and will eat them a few more times throughout the next few days. I might only get one more cutting.

Orlando1lbJar_large.jpegAs a child I never really enjoyed going out to pick grape leaves. I grew up in the city and when it was time to pick leaves we would go out and do some searching, often finding good vines on the side of roads. There was a huge area that would grow right on the edge wall of our church parking lot. I always thought this was ironic! If you can’t find them fresh, you can buy them in a jar. I’ve done this many times and they taste great.

When I moved to the country, I couldn’t understand why we didn’t have any grape leaves growing in our woods. I knew so many people around our area who would have them growing up a single tree on their properties and I didn’t have one vine. I started looking online to see if I could buy some seeds. I couldn’t find anything. Then one day while I was walking around outside, I found this vine growing up alongside this small dead tree. I couldn’t believe it. They were small and new, but the following year they would be perfect, and they were wonderful and huge that following year. As time has gone by, there are more grapevines growing all over around my house. I think this is the coolest thing. They come up every year and I look forward to it. Here’s a picture of the first vine. It’s growing beautifully on this dead tree. I think it’s so beautiful the way they grow up and then cascade down again.

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Syrian Cooking”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book

It’s going to be a great day! I’m so excited to share with you one of my all time favorite green juice recipes! Today’s breakfast is a meal replacer which is a mix of green juice called the Lemon Ginger Blast and Gorilla Milk. I’ll show you how to make the green juice first and then the Gorilla Milk.

One of my favorite raw food advocates is Dan Mcdonald. Some of you may already know him from his videos on YouTube. I’ll be doing a post on him soon with some of my favorite Liferegenerator recipes. He’s changed so much over the years and has become so much more professional making his own raw food DVD’s and selling raw food essentials. It’s because of Dan that I found this recipe in the first place. He was doing a segment with Lou Corona, another raw food advocate who’s been eating raw food for years and repaired his body by eating nothing but raw food. The video’s included here are Lou’s from YouTube of a Mom’s in Charge Class that he performed. Afterwards, you can see how I make this recipe…

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There are many different recipes out there which alternate ingredients. I find myself modifying it to fit what I have on hand. It’s always green, but you may find that you want to omit something. Today I’m going to use Kale. Next time I may use Dandelion greens. It doesn’t matter! 😉

I have kale growing in the garden and heading out to the garden as the sun is rising is one of the most fun things to do. I go out very early and pick my veggies.

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It’s so easy to grow your own kale at home. Kale is one of those vegetables you should buy organic and it’s not always easy to find. Grow your own in your garden or even in a pot. It’s so simple. You don’t have to use pesticides. This is Red Russian Kale and it’s delicious and beautiful. You can use it to make kale chips as well. I’ll be posting my favorite kale chip recipe soon.

 

Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book”

Tea for Tuesday – Pukka

I love tea and especially like to drink it when I’m reading. I consider myself sort of a tea freak. Today’s tea is made by Pukka which is an organic tea company that I found a few years ago. So far I’ve loved all of their teas. My absolute favorite is called “Love.” In case you’re wondering how to pronounce Pukka in American English, it’s pronounced with a short u as in puck.

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Here’s some information about this tea from www.Pukkaherbs.com

A tea that embodies nature’s gift of FairWild flowers that will love you every step of the way. A tender touch of rose fills your heart. The soft embrace of chamomile and lavender soothe your soul. A tea made with love, dedicated to love and called Love.  How lovely is that? But drinking a cup of Love tea has more to it than just the blissful taste – find out the story behind this incredible tea by reading this article below.

One of the great things about Pukka Planet is its ability to tell some of the stories behind the teas. Even more so because we have many authors on this site and when a story is a little personal and the subject of that story a little bashful, we can go right ahead and tell it instead. 

Love tea, with it’s beautiful pink and gold design and intoxicating but delicate blend of organic rose, chamomile, elderflower and lavender also carries with it a story of love.

You might think that Sebastian shuts himself away in some laboratory – forever testing and boiling in a sea of scientific instruments. Well he does do a little of that. But much of the time he spends in his incredible herb garden and his kitchen. Trying out different herbal blends until he finds exactly the right combination. It’s why every Pukka tea is indeed made with love. But the Love tea? That’s a slightly different matter.

Because Sebastian made it specifically as a gift to win over his lovely partner, now wife, Suze Pole. So it is a tea, made with love, dedicated to love and called Love. How lovely is that?

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Why I love this tea:

  • It’s organic
  • I love the herb mix which tastes amazing
  • It’s calming, but doesn’t make me tired
  • It’s caffeine free
  • It’s Healthy!

Continue reading “Tea for Tuesday – Pukka”

Summer Reading Loss

giphy.gifThis morning it’s still pretty cold outside and as I hang by the fire reading, I’m left to wonder how much reading loss I’ll experience this summer. Let’s face it, most people spend more time outside in the summer, right? There are outdoor activities like hiking, gardening, cook-outs, and swimming that remind me of why I welcome summer.

I can hear the chickadees and woodpeckers outside and very active this morning. I love nature, but this year I’m sort of dreading summer. I’m thinking about how much I read this past winter and how I’ll be reading much less this summer. Continue reading “Summer Reading Loss”

Indoor Green: Living with Plants by Bree Claffey

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I recently picked up a book on houseplants titled Indoor Green: Living with Plants. I’ve always loved plants in my home and I’ve always wanted to create a special plant room in my home. This book is perfect for plant lovers! You can read my review below.

Indoor Green: Living with Plants by Bree Claffey is a book about plants and the people who keep them.

As soon as I opened the book I was instantly inspired. The book is full of fascinating photography of plants by Lauren Bamford. I truly enjoy observing how people can take a room and transform it into a garden living space. It’s so exhilarating.

The reader is taken to different homes to view the plants people keep and how they live with them. Interviews are conducted with each person. You learn where they live, what plants they own, what they do for a living, and their personal feelings about plants. 20170331_073757

Many subjects are covered including different types of common houseplants, plant music, plant design, plant rooms and even plant care. Some plants discussed include: Devil’s Ivy, Boston Fern, and Ponytail Palms to name a few. My absolute favorite is the hanging air plant. There is a section included for plant care, although it’s not extensive and pertains mostly to the plant types discussed.

I personally loved this book and with the upcoming growing season underway, it’s just what I needed to get in the mood. If you admire plants, you’ll love this book.

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Continue reading “Indoor Green: Living with Plants by Bree Claffey”

Healing Lyme Disease Naturally: History, Analysis, and Treatments by Wolf Storl

Healing Lyme Disease Naturally  by Wolf D. Storl is a book about Lyme Disease and how to achieve a total cure naturally.

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I picked this up because we recently had a pediatric case in our family that needed attention. After visiting multiple doctors, we were told the only way to battle the disease was to take a 21 day course of antibiotics and retest a few months later. We noticed even after the antibiotics, there was still something brewing as symptoms would occasionally reappear. After researching myself and reading this book, I believe now that antibiotics are not the answer for everyone. People react differently to the disease.

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What I love about this book is that the author has a story to tell about his own experience and how he treated himself. He covers many methods of natural cures including Chinese Medicine, spiritual guidance, and plant use to name a few. There’s a section pertaining to just the healing plants with descriptions for each. Many of the plants Mr. Storl deems useful are plants that we already had growing in our gardens. Typical plants like teasel, yarrow, elderberry, coneflower, and lemon balm are just some of the plants used as powders and teas. The book also covers the history of the disease, ticks and the different diseases they transmit, and information on bacteria and how it survives. It offers methods of protecting yourself from ticks, and how to keep your body healthy with diet and exercise. Continue reading “Healing Lyme Disease Naturally: History, Analysis, and Treatments by Wolf Storl”